Sailing the Pacific

09 November 2010
07 November 2010
05 November 2010
26 October 2010
19 October 2010 | Somewhere between Fiji and Vanuatu
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
14 October 2010
03 October 2010
15 September 2010 | Vava'u, Tonga
02 September 2010 | Vava'u, Tonga
08 August 2010
29 July 2010
25 July 2010 | Bora Bora
20 July 2010
16 July 2010 | Moorea
16 July 2010 | Moorea, Society Islands

Palmerston Atoll

29 July 2010
Bora Bora to Tonga. First stop. Palmerston Atoll. Palmerston is one of the wide-spread Cook Islands and has a unique history. In 1862, an Englishman, William Masters settled on the atoll with three Polynesian wives, one on each of the main motus, or islands, around the atoll. He and his wives ended up with 26 children and many more grand-children. They had strict rules to limit inter-marrying of descendents. About 50 of the family still live there though several have migrated to New Zealand. Palmerston has a tradition of welcoming seafarers. Much out of pure hospitality, but now they also rely on th few extra supplies that the cruising yachts can bring, like gasoline and diesel. We were told they only have enough diesel to run the generator six hours a day. There were five yachts on moorings while we were there. We arrived in the middle of the night, glad to be out of the confused cross seas we'd been having. John and Lynn on La Graciosa next to us invited us to lunch and also offered us the use of their hot shower! While we were having lunch, David from Shearwater, who was also lunching with us, remarked, 'oh, there goes Dagmar'. We all looked up to see our boat heading off for Tonga all by itself. John took me over and we rescued Dagmar and put her on another mooring. Turns out the somewhat flimsy chain had broken. David waa in the process of filming for a documentary about Palmerston and it's people. Certainly interesting subject matter. Such an insular community. While we were there some humpback whales were also sighted. Lynn and David went off in La Graciosa's dinghy in pursuit and got some great close up action as they breached, did their nose up 'periscope' routine, and a perfect raise of a fluked tail as they headed for the depths. As they were filming all this. One of the whales came right through the moored boats. Isabelle and I jumped in to try to swim with them but they were gone too fast. Alas, we never made it to shore. The weather was just always a bit too iffy, threatening to blow onshore. A dicey situation given the fact that we'd already broken one mooring. Finally, on Monday, the wind did swing to the north and a quite lumpy sea rolled in. All of us but one ended up departing.
Vessel Name: Dagmar
Vessel Make/Model: CAL 39
Hailing Port: Melbourne, Australia
Crew: James Thomson and Isabelle Chigros-Fraser
Hello and welcome to our new sailing blog! Our dream is to sail across the Pacific Ocean this year starting in Costa Rica and finishing in Australia. [...]
As we have been told by fellow sailors, when you live at the mercy of the elements plans are like "Jello and Sand"- wobbly and unsteady like Jello (jelly for us aussies) and when you write something in the sand often it will be washed away with the tide. It is for this reason that we didn't finish [...]
'Twenty years from now you will be more dissapointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.' -Mark Twain
' I felt my pulse beating with suppressed excitement as I threw the mooring bouy overboard. It seemed as if that simple action had severed my connection with the life on the shore; that I had thereby cut adrift the ties of convention. The unrealities and illusions of cities and crowds, that I was free now, free to go where I chose, to do and to live and to conquer as I liked, to play the game wherin a man's qualities count for more than his appearance. 'Maurice Griffiths, The Magic of the Swatchways.